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Intel signs on as new Olympic Games partner

US technology giant Intel has been confirmed as a new top-tier partner of the International Olympic Committee and is set to drive new innovations designed to transform the Olympic Games experience.

Intel will join The Olympic Partner (TOP) worldwide sponsorship program, becoming a Worldwide TOP Partner through to the 2024 summer Olympic Games.

The first Olympic Games activation will take place at next year’s winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea, where Intel technology will provide real-time virtual reality viewing. Working with the IOC, Intel’s contributions to the Olympic Movement will include technology developments that will be rolled out as the multi-year partnership evolves.

This is envisioned to include technological and content support for Olympic Broadcasting Services’ host broadcaster operations, as well as for the Olympic Channel. Intel’s 5G platforms will be used at the Olympic Games to demonstrate how 5G will transform communications over the next decade. Starting in 2018, Intel will partner on what is expected to be the first 5G showcase, setting the stage for the global deployment of 5G.

Intel drone light show technology will create never-seen-before images in the sky, while Intel 360 replay technology will provide footage from every angle at the Olympic venues. IOC president Thomas Bach said: “Intel is a world leader in its field, and we’re very excited to be working with the Intel team to drive the future of the Olympic Games through cutting-edge technology.

“The Olympic Games provide a connection between fans and athletes that has inspired people around the world through sport and the Olympic values of excellence, friendship and respect. Thanks to our new innovative global partnership with Intel, fans in the stadium, athletes and audiences around the world will soon experience the magic of the Olympic Games in completely new ways.”

Brian Krzanich, Intel’s chief executive, added: “Through this close collaboration with the Olympic family, we will accelerate the adoption of technology for the future of sports on the world’s largest athletic stage.”

Intel’s global activation rights will include Pyeongchang 2018, the 2020 summer Olympic Games in Tokyo, the 2022 winter Games in Beijing and the 2024 summer Games, which will be hosted by either Los Angeles or Paris.

Today’s announcement comes with Intel having been strongly linked to such a deal in recent days. Speculation intensified last week when the IOC and fast-food restaurant chain McDonald’s reached a mutual agreement to end their worldwide ‘TOP’ partnership.

McDonald’s TOP partnership, which had been due to run through to the 2020 summer Games under a deal signed in 2012, now ends with immediate effect. However, the company will continue to serve as a sponsor of next year’s winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang, with domestic rights in host nation South Korea only. The company will deliver its Games-time operations, including restaurants in the Olympic Park and the Olympic Village.